I wonder if she knows…

by Madeline Laughs

I arrived at the cafe a few minutes behind my husband and the couple we were meeting for dinner. The cell phone tucked tightly in my purse was vibrating madly with text messages that read “Where are you?” Yes, I was a bit late.

The hostess asked for my reservation’s name and I gave her my last name. She hurried me across the intimate dining room to a lovely corner and my husband stood up to welcome me with a kiss on the cheek. He introduced me to the girlfriend first. I shook her hand apologizing for being tardy and then I turned to the boyfriend who I already knew, and we hugged.This was the first meeting of the girlfriend for both my husband and I.  

I had met the boyfriend the year before at an outing. We shared meals and chats and he was one of the happiest, most pleasant human beings I had spent time with in a while.

Tonight he was different.

The table we were seated at for dinner was square. My husband was seated across from the girlfriend and I was seated across from our friend. After ordering, I kept trying to get him to make eye contact with me, but he evaded every attempt. I tried teasing some conversation out of him, but he gave short answers with absolutely no color at all. His body language was full frontal, facing me, but not looking at my face, with his arms held closely at his sides and he was quiet. Not at all the boy I met last year.

The girlfriend’s body language was completely different. She say sideways in her chair facing him the entire evening. Her body was completely open to him, though he never made a move to touch her, or even acknowledge her. She never seemed to notice. She readily made eye contact with me and asked questions about my work, my travels, etc. She constantly referred to him as her boyfriend and talked about how they met and how long they had been together. She alluded that they were buying property together and talked about their household and history. My husband and I listened and responded with details about our lives. Each revelation brought my eyes right back to his face. I was looking for something, but it never showed itself.

Dinner was served.

While she and the two of us engaged in a lively conversation about the last election and politics, he scarfed his dinner and never uttered a word.

His phone went off several times during the meal and he checked it. She finally complained about it. He put it back in his pocket.

I brushed my foot against his leg under the table. I wanted a reaction. I wanted to see him off-guard, if only for a second, so I could put my finger on what felt different. He never even reacted.

And then my husband engaged him directly on a topic that neither the girlfriend or I knew much about. She and I were quiet, but our friend suddenly became animated, charming and totally engrossed in every word my husband said.

And that’s when I saw the difference I was looking for.

I wonder if she knows…

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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